Background and Context:
People affected by cancer need trustworthy, evidence-based and customized information which is communicated with empathy and focus on their individual situation. Cancer information services (CIS) provide this information free of charge. They collaborate in the International Cancer Information Service Group (ICISG), a global network with 85 member organizations in 54 countries, incl. a European chapter of 32 CIS in 26 countries.
Collaboration aims at providing, comparing and harmonizing high-quality cancer information and support, by sharing information resources, best practice and innovative approaches, e.g. social media, and by intercultural impact research, evaluation of user data and surveys, by identifying needs and trends, development of effective and helpful strategies and new communication tools to meet these needs.
Exchange of best practice at conferences, e.g. ICISG session on social media at UICC WCC; European CIS workshops; support for organizations to start and develop a CIS; ICISG website relaunch in 2014 incl. needs assessment tool, tool box for program operations and social media; Europe-wide staff exchange program and CIS surveys, latest in 2014, based on over 300,000 inquiries; collaborating with UICC and sharing expertise in a EU CANCON joint action 2014-2017 to improve cancer control and survivorship.
Support for set-up of new CIS (e.g. in Eastern Europe) and for growing number of members. Guidance and sharing know-how for quality information and for overcoming digital divide. Survey data, challenges and best practice examples will be presented; they demonstrate the value of collaboration for the development of cancer information strategies.
Outcomes/What was learned:
Interaction with CIS can strengthen and accelerate the cancer control knowledge exchange and lead to increased abilities, skills, desirable individual behaviors and public health action. ICISG has developed an Action Plan which is adaptable to other regions of the world, and ICISG can provide technical assistance.